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Nigg Legal Access (05/09/08)
Highland Councillors have been assured that progress is being made in the bid to compulsorily purchase and redevelop the former oil yard at Nigg, Easter Ross.
A draft Master Plan identifying options for the future use of the Nigg oil yard, Easter Ross, has been completed by consultants – engaged by the Council and Highlands and Islands Enterprise – and will be presented to the Planning, Environment and Development Committee for discussion on Wednesday 24 September. It will then be widely distributed for public comment before coming back to the PED Committee for approval.
Access to the yard, currently denied, is required to enable environmental consultants, instructed by the Council, to conduct a due diligence environmental assessment to support the potential compulsory purchase order.
Councillor Ian Ross, Chairman of the Planning, Environment and Development Committee, told the Council: “While we hoped to reach agreement with the operators, KBR, in relation to access, attempts at achieving this informally have not been successful. We have now established the Council’s legal position and a letter is being sent out formally requesting entry to the site and seeking an affirmative response.
“Should this fail, we intend to use Section 269 of the Town and Country Scotland Act 1997 Act, which entitles a Local Authority to gain entry in relation to a proposal to acquire land. We are satisfied that this would include acquisition by Compulsory Purchase Order.
“Section 270 enables the Council to serve a formal notice in terms of Section 269. This would effectively give KBR 24 hours notice of our intention to go onto the site or to enable those acting on our instructions to do so.”